Raag Desh

‘Raag Desh’ movie review By G9 Divya Solgama

Expectations: India is a country with a vast history and many filmmakers have tried to capture several important events in their films. While some tried to narrate tales related to the mighty dynasties, there were several who ventured into the partition phase followed by multiple wars and films related to political leaders and political movements. World War II and Indian National Army (I.N.A) are two such collateral subjects which were displayed either in backdrop of some film or were mildly touched in films like ‘Samadhi’, ‘Hum Dono’, ‘Lalkar’, ‘Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani’ and few more. ‘Raag Desh’, is an exceptional film which tries to narrate the untouched tale related to trials of soldiers from the I.N.A. Thus, let’s find out whether ‘Raag Desh’ will succeed in displaying something unknown related to our political history or might end up being among all those film where besides the one line innovative idea there is nothing else to cherish.

Story: ‘Raag Desh’ is a story inspired from the real life happenings related to the trials of officers from the Indian National Army (I.N.A). Three main officers of I.N.A, Shah Nawaz Khan (Kunal Kapoor), Prem Sehgal (Mohit Marwah) and Gurbaksh Singh (Amit Sadh) are arrested for treason and murders. Prem’s father (Kanwaljit Singh) appoints ace lawyer Bhulabhai Desai (Keneth Desai) to defend them. What happens next is what the entire film is all about.

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Screenplay & Technical Details: The story is highly interesting as well as intriguing at times. The whole theme related to after effects of I.N.A is like an alienated topic in our Hindi films. This movie also displays an integral part related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The first half is gripping as well as highly engaging. The movie starts with some great scenes related to the Indian National Army followed by family meet, Kanwaljit Singh trying to convince Keneth Desai to take the case in his hand, Zakir Hussain’s version of the true events, Netaji’s track followed by some like Amit Sadh’s first fight and Keneth Desai as Bhulabhai Desai’s fantastic argument in court. Though, in comparison to the first half of the film, the second half drags a lot and rides only over a thin one liner plot. It’s the unique concept and gripping theme of the film, which keeps you glued to the silver screen. But, in case of such movies, the screenplay has to be tight and powerful. There are few abrupt scenes followed by repetitive scenes which dilutes the flow of the film. The second half should have been crispier as out here it’s dragging and boring at times. This movie would have been a great short film as out here it’s been stretched to the fullest due to which the impact in the main scenes lacks the required impact. The cinematography is good and goes well with the flow of film. The dialogues are impactful. Editing is not up to the mark as there were several random cuts in the film.

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Music: The background music is powerful and ‘Kadam’ is haunting.

Direction: Director Tigmanshu Dhulia manages to keep you involved into the process of army trails due to his experienced direction. Though, at one point the movie sounds to be preachy as well as full of repetitive scenes. Tigmanshu has a right kind of film but fails to present it right manner. There are few goose bumps type of scenes which manages to keep you highly patriotic while in case of several others the impact gets totally diluted.

Performances: Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh and Mohit Marwah manages to display their fine performances. Together as well as in individual scenes all the three actors shine out with passing colours. Kanwaljit Singh and Mrudula Murali lends good support. Keneth Desai is super impactful. Zakir Hussain and others are wasted.

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Final Verdict: So on an overall basis, ‘Raag Desai is an untold tale of important events from our country. The fateful tale might get unnoticed even this time due to its inconsistent screenplay and bad editing.

Rating – 2.5/5 [source – Bollywood Times]